SIMCOE, ON, July 17, 2013 /CNW/ - When Mumford & Sons announced their tour was stopping in rural, charming Norfolk County, they woke up this farming community's music soul.
The Grammy Award-winning musicians selected the Norfolk County Fairgrounds in the small town of Simcoe for their only Canadian location (August 23-24) among the five Gentlemen of the Road Stopovers. Norfolk County was chosen for many reasons, including the area's deep music roots.
Rick Danko of the legendary rock group The Band grew up here. As a teen in the 1950s, he played the many dance halls in Norfolk County - from Port Dover and Turkey Point, to Delhi and Long Point - headlining for bigger names such as Ronnie Hawkins.
"When we mentioned to Mumford & Sons that this is Rick Danko's hometown, they lit up immediately," said Jason Grant, promoter with Live Nation. Danko is known and respected around the world by musicians, he added. Mumford & Sons is expected to honour Danko's musical legacy during the concert.
"Norfolk County Council will be honouring Rick Danko's memory with signage in the rural area around Blayney and Bill's Corners where he grew up," said Mayor Dennis Travale.
Danko never forgot his roots, according to people close to him in the music industry. One colleague recalled that Danko's eyes would light up when he talked about Simcoe.
From the 1940s to '70s, famous musicians such as Louis Armstrong, Count Basie, The Guess Who, Lighthouse and RUSH performed at dance halls across Norfolk County.
The new Footsteps of Rock Legends touring route includes the rediscovery of Norfolk County's music legends, as promoted by the local tourism office (norfolktourism.ca). Stops include Port Dover's Harbour Museum, with its Rock and Roll Beachhead exhibit about the famous Summer Garden dance hall. That is where Danko met Levon Helm and Robbie Robertson, who eventually formed The Band.
A free downtown street festival will be held alongside the Mumford & Sons stopover, with three stages featuring local musicians and entertainers, local food, activities and buskers.
For info: www.norfolktourism.ca/footsteps-of-rock-legends or call 800-699-9038.
Video with caption: "Video featuring Footsteps of Rock Legends tour route and Mumford & Sons visit to Norfolk County, Ontario, Canada. (Source: Norfolk County Tourism, www.norfolktourism.ca)". Video available at: http://stream1.newswire.ca/cgi-bin/playback.cgi?file=20130717_C8094_VIDEO_EN_29085.mp4&posterurl=http://photos.newswire.ca/images/20130717_C8094_PHOTO_EN_29085.jpg&clientName=Norfolk%20County&caption=Video%20featuring%20Footsteps%20of%20Rock%20Legends%20tour%20route%20and%20Mumford%20%26%20Sons%20visit%20to%20Norfolk%20County%2C%20Ontario%2C%20Canada%2E%20%28Source%3A%20Norfolk%20County%20Tourism%2C%20www%2Enorfolktourism%2Eca%29&title=Video%20featuring%20Footsteps%20of%20Rock%20Legends%20tour%20route%20and%20Mumford%20%26%20Sons%20visit%20to%20Norfolk%20County%2C%20Ontario%2C%20Canada%2E%20%28Source%3A%20Norfolk%20County%20Tourism%2C%20www%2Enorfolktourism%2Eca%29&headline=Mumford%20%26%20Sons%20wakes%20up%20Norfolk%20County%27s%20rock%20%27n%20roll%20soul
Image with caption: "Mumford & Sons and other bands will appear at the Gentlemen of the Road Simcoe Stopover in Norfolk County August 23-24, 2013. More info at: www.norfolktourism.ca (Source: Mumford & Sons) (CNW Group/Norfolk County)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20130717_C8094_PHOTO_EN_29081.jpg
Image with caption: "Rick Danko (far right) grew up in Simcoe, located in Norfolk County, Ontario. He was a member of the renowned roots music group, The Band. (CNW Group/Norfolk County)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20130717_C8094_PHOTO_EN_29086.jpg
SOURCE: Norfolk County
For further information:
Clark Hoskin, Manager, Tourism & Economic Development, Norfolk County
Phone: 519-426-5870 ext 1238
Jason Grant, Promoter, Live Nation
Phone: 416-260-5700 ext 20397